Wish List

I spent yesterday at my mom's house, celebrating my sister's 14th birthday. Uncles and aunts and cousins are scattered around the house, laughing and eating and shouting at the television screen as if someone is just going to die if the Celtics don't win this game. See me and my sister sitting side by side, somehow apart from it all: She's absolutely engrossed in Weird N.J., Vol.1 (I'm very proud of her), and I'm similarly rapt by Acoustic Sounds' "Under the Radar" list.

Man, this damn vinyl thing. It is changing my life. I had never been one to do much online shopping, but, all of a sudden, I've got accounts to all sorts of online stores, I'm receiving newsletters left and right, I'm winning auctions on eBay. It's crazy. I spent my sister's entire birthday party, lost in the glow of the computer screen, browsing titles, creating this thing called a "Wish List."

Did you know about this stuff? You get to create a list. Of things you want! It's like Christmas in spring, Christmas in summer, Christmas all year round. It's like I'm getting married, but without all the planning and arguments. Nothing but the gifts. Who cares if there's no Santa to bring me the LPs on my list? Creating a Wish List is like taking a cold shower or making a trip to the methadone clinic; it eases the edge, man.

Acoustic Sounds bills their "Under the Radar" feature as a compendium of "great records you may have missed from lesser-known acts." And it's true. I had missed The Drift's Memory Drawings, and I had missed the Silver Jews' Starlite Walker, and I had missed Skygreen Leopards' Disciples of California. And then there were so many other albums that I'd wanted, but forgotten: Golden Smog's Another Fine Day, Magnolia Electric Co.'s Fading Trails, Sleater-Kinney's The Woods. Thank you for reminding me, Acoustic Sounds! I started on page 1 and continued on, in a sort of dream state, all the way through page 21—through 402 tempting titles, some priced as low as nine bucks, and all on delicious vinyl. By the time I was done, my sister was eager to find the real Midgetville, and I had 69 items in my Wish List. And that's only because, towards the end, I was holding myself back.

Dear Stephen Mejias,
There are currently 69 great records in your Wish List. For a total of: $1171.75.

Wouldn't it be nice? A part of me thinks it would be nice if I could just click "Buy Now!" and, in the blink of an eye and with one easy e-mail confirmation, I'd have all my wishes come true. But I suppose I can settle for one wish at a time, made over the course of an entire life.

After I'm done creating LP Wish Lists on about five or ten other sites, I think I'll turn to phono cartridges. They are so cute and colorful.

Mark Fleischmann's picture

At $1171.75, your 69 albums cost nearly 17 bucks per album. Not bad, compared to current CD prices, but I'd suggest cultivating local sources of cheap used vinyl. Sidewalks, flea markets, whatever it takes.

Stephen Mejias's picture

You're right, Mark. Funny: I also did that math, and I was hoping the price per album would be less. I've also been getting my hands dirty in the street fairs and thrift stores. It's an all-encompassing sickness. And everywhere I turn, people are dishing out the crack.

Christian's picture

I understand your affliction all too well now. My Pro-Ject XpressionIII and Tube Box came in Last Tuesday. I can't stop listening. There really is a wonderful sound to it all -- honestly it drives me a little crazy to think that a cleaned up $4.99 Who album talked down to $2.99 sounds better than any CD I own. I made up some DIY cleaning solution and have been cleaning my finds with a velvet brush (a lint brush to be exact) and some microfibre towels. It has just been so much fun, digging through used record shops, picking up jazz albums on their cover alone only to find this wonderful music inside. I broke down and ordered the Bon Iver record last week; I couldn't find it anywhere. I have been buying more jazz than anything else. I'm not sure why, but it seems more acceptable for used records instead of 'cheesy' rock records of the 70's and 80's. I am completely hooked on vinyl now. It is really kind of ridiculous. Thanks for the introduction.

Douglas Bowker's picture

Take it slow dude--- the worst thing to kill musical enjoyment and cramp future purchases is a big credit debt! It'll all be there when you want it. Plus- all those LPs at the same time? You'd have them sitting around unopened for months, all the while your "account" was accruing interest! :0 I'm still only quarter way into that big stack of 40 used records I got in New Orleans and it's been 2 weeks or more. More than that an you get overload I think.